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  • Mary Kay

Gram's Buttermilk Pie - with fresh fruit for Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day! This is a special pie recipe to remember my Gram by, especially for Mother’s Day.

I remember Gram making her Buttermilk Pie topped with homemade whipped cream quite often on the farm when I was little. Gramps produced quite a bit of milk with his 20-some cow dairy farm. And, Gram would teach me how to quietly steal the eggs from under the hens in the chicken coop, as they clucked with disapproval. With all those dairy products around I know why she made this pie so often. Because Gramps loved it.

I had never made her Buttermilk Pie, so I thought for Mother’s Day, I’d feature it in her honor. Since I didn’t really care for the pie as a child, I adjusted her recipe, making it with fresh lemon juice and zest. It’s one of my favorite flavors, and I thought, why not? I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out, especially with all the fresh blueberries, strawberries and homemade whipped cream.

Gramps would bring in a big jug of milk from the milk house. Then Gram and I would seek out the fresh warm eggs from her brood of hens out in the coop. The cream was thick and chunky on top of the milk in the 2-quart glass jar. Gram would scoop the cream off the top and set it in the refrigerator to cool before whipping. I need to mention here that Gram beat her cream by hand with the hand crank beaters. As she grew older, I would help her beat the cream to give it that thick luxurious velvety feeling.

One thing you may find different from other Buttermilk Pie recipes hers did not call actually call for Buttermilk. She made her own. Gram usually did not have buttermilk at the ready, so she would make her own by mixing heavy cream with lemon juice to make buttermilk. (That’s the way I’ve always made my buttermilk, the way Gram and Mom made it – I never buy it.) She would measure out a cup of heavy cream, then delete one tablespoon from it. She would zest a lemon and fresh squeeze the juice, taking one tablespoon of lemon juice to put into the heavy cream she had measured out. Stir and let it sit for a few minutes to create buttermilk. Of course, you can buy ready-made buttermilk or make buttermilk by using regular milk or 2% milk with the lemon juice. But the heavy cream mixed with lemon juice makes for a much more velvety buttermilk.

This Buttermilk Pie serves 8-10 slices.

Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.

Prep the pie plate:

Gram liked to use glass pie plates. Hers, now mine, is a 9” diameter pan. No need to butter or grease the pan.

Gather up the Pie Ingredients:

4-5 Eggs, large preferred

1 C Sugar

2 t Lemon zest, fresh

1 T Flour

4 T Butter, melted and cooled

1 C Heavy cream (minus 1 T)

1 T Lemon juice, fresh squeezed

1 t Vanilla extract

1 Pie crust for 9” pie pan, homemade or store bought

Gather up the Whipped Cream Ingredients:

1 Very cold ceramic or glass mixing bowl

1 1/2 C Heavy cream, very cold

3 T Powdered sugar

1 t Vanilla extract

Gather your favorite fruit for garnish:

1 Pint Blueberries, fresh, cleaned

1 Pint Strawberries, fresh, cleaned w/o stems

1 Pint Raspberries, optional

1 Pink Blackberries, optional

Make the crust:

- I don’t make Gram’s recipe for homemade crust since I just cannot make it as tasty (it was the best ever!) So, I used a premade crust, thawing it according to the package directions.

- Set the crust gently into the pie pan and smooth it down the sides and across the bottom without stretching any of the crust.

- There should be about an inch or so extra crust all the way around so that you can crimp the entire edge.

- The pie bakes at a lower temperature so there's no need to place foil around the edge of the pie crust to protect the edge from getting too brown while baking.

Make the Buttermilk Filling:

- Let the pie crust thaw while you’re making the filling.

- Melt the butter and allow to cool while you mix the rest of the filling.

- Beat the eggs.

- Beat in the sugar.

- Sprinkle the flour on top and beat until smooth, adding the lemon zest, too.

- Beat in the butter and buttermilk.

- Stir in the vanilla extract.

- Arrange the crust in the pie pan, crimping the edges.

- Pour the filling into the crust.

- Bake the pie at 325F degrees for 50 minutes.

- The filling should be a little jiggly in the center.

- Allow the pie to cool until room temperature, 2-4 hours. Do NOT cool in the refrigerator.

Whip up the heavy cream:

- When you’re close to serving time, with an electric mixer, whip the cold heavy cream in the cold bowl until it has fairly stiff peaks.

- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat in for sweetness.

Assemble and serve your Lemon Buttermilk Pie:

- Once your pie has cooled to room temperature it’s time to slather your whipped cream on top. I like to slather it on half of the pie. Some people like a lot of whipped cream, and others prefer just fresh fruit on this type of pie. Either way, it's delicious!

- Then I add a whole pile of fresh blueberries on the other half.

- After that I slice the strawberries in half and place a few on top of the whipped cream. That way I have a pie that appeals to those who LOVE whipped cream and those that prefer not to have the pie sans whipped cream.

- Serve it with hot coffee, a cold pressed coffee, a coffee cocktail or just a glass of milk.


- Many people enjoy the pie at room temperature, while others prefer it cooled in the refrigerator. It’s your choice.

- It can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, or it can sit out up to a day.

- I prefer not to let it sit out, keeping it cool in the frig. Of course, it usually does not last longer than a couple of days at our house.

Enjoy the lemony flavor of this Buttermilk Pie, along with loads of fresh fruit. Let the kids help with decorating the pie in their own design. Whatever you do, “Bake your own Memories!”

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